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Zac Brown Band bassist and songwriter John Driskell Hopkins revealed to fans that he has Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Standing alongside his longtime bandmates, in a video posted to the band's YouTube channel, Hopkins told fans he had some "tough news" to share.
The 51-year-old country star, who is a founding member of the beloved country band, revealed he had been experiencing stiffness and balance issues for several years. Doctors recently diagnosed the symptoms as ALS.
The band has always been willing to help out folks in need and when faced with his own diagnosis, Hopkins thoughts immediately turned to how he could use his platform to help others. He got to work creating a foundation called Hop on a Cure and it supports research to prevent, reverse, and hopefully find a cure for ALS.
According to the foundation's website, every 90 minutes, someone in the United States is diagnosed with ALS, which currently has no cure. The life expectancy of those affected is usually 3 to 5 years from when the symptoms first appear however, around 10 percent of people with ALS survive for 10 or more years.
Fans looking to support the foundation's work, can purchase a t-shirt.
— Zac Brown Band (@zacbrownband) May 20, 2022
"Because my symptoms have been slow-progressing from the start," Hopkins said in the video, "we believe they will continue to be slow-progressing going forward."
"God willing," Hopkins said, "I plan to be rocking with these amazing people for many years to come."